doi: 10.1111/j.1460-2695.2010.01453.

x
Reliability analysis of universal joint of a compliant platform
M. M. ZAHEER and N. I SLAM
Department of Civil Engineering, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi – 110025, India
Received in final form 29 December 2009
ABSTRACT The paper describes a methodology for computation of fatigue reliability of universal joint
in an articulated offshore tower. Failure criteria were formulated using the conventional
Palmgren-Miner rule (S-N curve approach) and the fracture mechanics (F-M) principle.
The dynamic analysis of double hinged articulated tower under wind and waves is carried
out in time domain. The response histories of hinge shear stresses are employed for the
reliability analysis. Advanced first-order reliability method and Monte Carlo simulation
method were used to estimate the reliability. Various parametric studies were carried out,
which yield important information for the reliability based design. The S-N curve ap-
proach yields a significantly conservative estimate of probability of failure when compared
to the F-M approach.
Keywords articulated joint; fatigue life; FORM; fracture mechanics; offshore platforms;
sensitivity.
NOMENCLATURE A= fatigue strength coefficient
a = crack size
a

= initial crack size
a
c r
= critical crack size
B = stress modelling error
C = Paris coefficient
[C] = damping matrix
C

, m = crack propagation parameters
C
d
= drag coefficient
D = accumulated damage
da/dN = crack growth rate
E[.] = expectation
f
i
= zero crossing frequency
f
x
(X) = probability density function of the random variable X
g(X) = limit state function
H
s
= significant wave height
[I] = mass matrix
K = intercept of the S-N curve at σ
R
equals to one
[K] = stiffness matrix
L = load effect
{M
θ
} = forcing function
m = slope of the S-N curve
m = fatigue exponent
m
o
= nth moment of the stress spectrum
N = number of cycles to fatigue failure
Correspondence: M. M. Zaheer. E-mail: mooniszaheer@rediffmail.com
408
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2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd. Fatigue Fract Engng Mater Struct 33, 408–419
Fatigue & Fracture of
Engineering Materials & Structures
RELI ABI LI TY ANALYSI S OF UNI VERSAL J OI NT OF A COMPLI ANT PLATFORM 409
P
f
= probability of failure
R = structural resistance
T
F
= time to failure
T
L
= lifetime of the structure
T
z
= zero crossing period
u(z) = wind velocity
Y(a) = function of crack geometry
y
j ∗
= value of the variable at the design point in the standard normal space
α
j
= sensitivity of a random variable

F
= Miner–Palmgren damage index at failure
K = range of stress intensity factor
= Gamma function
γ
i
= fraction of time spent in the ith sea state
λ = Wirsching’s wide band correction factor
= stress parameter
φ = cumulative probability function of a standard normal distribution
φ

( ) = inverse of the standardized normal distribution function
σ
R
= constant amplitude stress range
σ
R
= nominal stress range
σ
i
= r.m.s. value of the stress process in the ith sea state
{
¨
θ},{
˙
θ}and {θ} = structural acceleration, velocity and displacement vectors
I NT RODUCT I ON
An articulated tower platform as shown in Fig. 1 is a
compliant offshore structure which is provided with large
buoyancy chambers near the water surface. Being com-
pliant in nature, they are free to move with wind and
waves. The time variant loadings due to wind and waves
cause fluctuating shear stresses in the articulated joint of
the tower. In fact, the platform is attached to the sea bed
through it that allows controlled articulation under envi-
ronmental loadings, and its failure will lead severe con-
sequences. Therefore, its fatigue and fracture reliability
assessment is of great importance.
Low-frequency response is an inherent characteristic
of compliant platforms and in general is caused by dy-
namic wind and wave loadings. Fatigue life assessments
of the compliant articulated tower require treatment of
the low-frequency responses which can aggravate the fa-
tigue damage in the articulation points. The impact on the
fatigue damage due to the low-frequency responses, how-
ever, cannot be fully captured by the traditional frequency
domain analysis. In order to offset and complement the
frequency domainapproach, a time domaindirect integra-
tion approach has to be adopted for fatigue life assessment
of the articulated tower.
L I T E RAT URE S URVE Y
Fatigue cracking of structural details inoffshore structures
due to cyclic loading has gained considerable attention in
the past few years. Numerous research studies have been
conducted in this field on both the theoretical and practi-
cal aspects. Consequently, a great number of papers have
been published resulting in various topics relating to fa-
tigue assessment. Reliability analysis of structures under
wave loading (Moses et al.,
1
Wirshing,
2
and Committee
on Structural Reliability of Offshore Structures
3
) forms
a distinct class of problems in the literature called relia-
bility and safety of offshore structures. Sedillot et al.
4
dis-
cussed the design and fatigue analysis of a laminated rub-
ber articulated joint for the deep-water gravity articulated
tower.
Fatigue and wear studies were carried out on Baldpate
compliant tower by Chen and Will.
5
They concluded
that the impact of fatigue damage due wind loads are
significant and cannot be ignored. Siddiqui and Ahmad
6
studied fatigue and fracture reliability of tension leg plat-
form tethers under wind and wave loading. Dong and
Hong
7
presented a master S-N curve approach using the
mesh-insensitive structural stress parameter and its di-
rect linkage to fracture mechanics (F-M) principle. With
the master S-N curve method, tubular joints in offshore
structures and pipe joints for riser applications can be
collapsed into a single curve, referred to as the master
S-N curve. In their study, its applications were illustrated
by using various offshore/marine examples. Yamashita
and Sekita
8
carried out fatigue damage analysis on off-
shore wind turbines subjected to wind and wave loads. Jin
et al.
9
proposed a methodology of system reliability-based
assessment for the single point mooring jacket platforms.
It was concluded that system reliability-based assessment
method could provide important and reliable referential
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2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd. Fatigue Fract Engng Mater Struct 33, 408–419
410 M. M. ZAHEER AND N. I SLAM
Fig. 1 Articulated tower.
suggestions for the design, maintenance and repair of
single point mooring jackets. Pillai and Veena
10
describe a
methodology for computation of reliability of members of
fixed offshore platforms with respect to fatigue using F-M
principle. Uraga and Moan
11
investigated alternate S-N
and F-M formulations of fatigue. They include a crack
growth formulation based on bi-linear crack growth law,
considering both segments of the crack growth law as
correlated and non-correlated in the fracture probability
calculation.
Despite continuing research in the area of reliability
analysis of offshore structures against dynamic forces,
there is still scope of work in this area because it is as-
sociated with large number of uncertainties and a high
degree of complexity. In addition, very little literature
exists on the reliability analysis of articulated joint. This
paper deals with a comprehensive study on the fatigue re-
liability analysis of articulated tower under wind and wave
environment.
T HE ART I CUL AT I ON S YS T E M
It is composed of two different devices as shown in Figs 2
and 3. The rubber articulated joint, located at the upper
part of the fixed base and on the vertical axis of the struc-
ture, supports the vertical and horizontal reactions. The
torsional moment is resisted by a wide torsional frame as
shown in Fig. 3. This frame is provided in the horizontal
diametral plane of the joint, having two opposite angles
connected to the base structure and the two other ones
to the steel tower. These devices collectively allowed an
imposed rotation due to the tilting of the tower by envi-
ronmental forces.
Fig. 2 Articulated joint [Courtesy: Sedillot et al.
4
).
Fig. 3 The articulation system: torsional frame (Courtesy: Sedillot
et al.
4
).
Description of the ball joint
The ball joint for the articulated tower has been taken
from ‘Deep Water Gravity Tower’,
4
which consists of
a series of laminated rubber pads inserted between two
hemispherical steel shells, as shown in Fig. 2. A central
circular pad, about 1.20 m in diameter, is surrounded by
two rows of eight trapezoidal pads. Each pad is composed
of a sandwich of layers of rubber, 10 to 15 mm thick,
and of curved metallic plates, about 6 mm thick. The two
extreme plates are 40 mm thick.
The pads are firmly fastened to the inner shell which
is connected to the central vertical member of the steel
tower, and to the outer shell which is located in the
base central member. When a rotation is imposed to the
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2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd. Fatigue Fract Engng Mater Struct 33, 408–419
RELI ABI LI TY ANALYSI S OF UNI VERSAL J OI NT OF A COMPLI ANT PLATFORM 411
articulation point, the inner shell rotates and opposes a
tangential distortion to the pads, which develop only neg-
ligible resisting forces, mainly due to their low shear stiff-
ness. Further, these elastomeric pads have a very high
stiffness in the axial direction, so that variation of vertical
reaction, due to live loads on deck or to effects of environ-
mental loads. Results in very little vertical displacement.
S I MUL AT I ON OF S E A S T AT E
The description of sea states have been given by three
parameter Weibull distribution, as given by Karadeniz
et al.
12
The long-term distribution of the significant wave
height based on these parameters is given as under
f (H
s
) =
C
B
_
H
s
− A
B
_
C−1
e
−(
Hs −A
B
)
C
(1)
where A = lower limit of H
s
; B = scale parameter and
C = shape parameter.
The parameters A, B and C have been obtained from a
scatter diagram of North Sea location. These constants
are found to be as A = 0.594; B = 2.290 and C = 1.385
(Mathinsen and Bitner-Gregersen
13
)
Corresponding to a known significant wave height H
s
,
zero crossing period T
z
and mean wind velocity u(z) may
be obtained assuming the same probability of occurrence
for T
z
and u(z) as H
s
. Sarpakaya and Isaacson
14
gave the
following empirical relations for significant wave height
H
s
and zero crossing period T
z
. In this formulation, wind
and waves are considered to be in correlated fashion.
T
z
=
_
_
32πH
s
g
_
(2)
u(z) =
_
g H
s
0.283
. (3)
In the present study, sea states have been simulated by
using Eqs (1)–(3). Twelve significant wave heights are
selected such that

f (H
s
)H
s
≈ 1; i.e. the whole area
under the ( f (H
s
) versusH
s
) curve have been divided into
12 rectangular strips of width H
s
. The area of each strip
provides the magnitude of the corresponding probabil-
ity of occurrence of sea state. These results have been
presented in Table 2.
The synthetic waves corresponding to a particular sea
state, represented by a sea surface elevation, are generated
by using wave superposition technique. The linearized
small amplitude wave theory allows the summation of
velocity potential, wave elevation and water particle kine-
matics of individual waves to form a random wave made
up of a number of components. The generated synthetic
random wave is considered to be adequately represented
by the summation of K number of sinusoids (harmonics)
in random phase. The series representation of sea surface
elevation η(t) is given by the equation
η(t) =
K

i =1
A
i
cos(k
i
x −ω
i
t +φ
i
), (4)
where
A
i
=
_
2[S(ω
i

i
] (5)
in which, A
i
is the amplitude of the ith component wave,
k
i
is the wave number of the ith component wave, ω
i
is
the wave frequency of the ith component wave, φ
i
is the
phase angle of the ith component wave randomly chosen
between 0 and 2π, and following the normal distribution,
K is the number of wave harmonics considered in the
simulation, x is the structural displacement, S(ω) is the
spectral density value of one sided sea surface elevation
spectrum at the frequency ω
i
.
The selection of frequency ω
i
is done such that these
frequencies are uncorrelated so that they do not consti-
tute harmonics with each other. First, the range of the
frequencies, from the lowest frequency, ω
min
to the high-
est frequency, ω
max
is divided into (k −1) sub-ranges with
the dividing frequencies constituting a power series of:
ω

1
= ω
min
+
ω
max
−ω
min
k −1
(6)
ω

2
= ω

1
C
k
(7)
ω

i
= ω

i −1
C
k
(8)
ω

k−1
= ω

1
C
(k−2)
k
, (9)
where
C
k
=
_
ω
max
ω

1
_ 1
k−2
. (10)
Then, the secondary dividing frequencies ω

1
, ω

2
,
ω

3
, . . . , ω

k−1
are chosen, at random, in respective sub-
ranges. The initial frequency ω

0
is set equal to ω
min
and
the last one is ω

k
= ω
max
. The selection is done with the
aid of a random-number-generation process program on
the computer. Finally the component frequency, ω
i
and
its bandwidth, ω
i
is calculated as:
ω
i
= 0.5
_
ω

i −1

i
_
(11)
ω
i
= ω

i
−ω

i −1
i = 1, 2, 3, . . . , k. (12)
The above process of random selection of component
frequency is repeated for each run of each sea surface el-
evation spectrum. The random phase angle φ
i
must be
chosen such that the resultant function η(t) follows the
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2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd. Fatigue Fract Engng Mater Struct 33, 408–419
412 M. M. ZAHEER AND N. I SLAM
Gaussian distribution. This has been done with the gen-
eration of random numbers normally distributed between
0 and 2π.
Basedonthe performedstudies, the asymptotic approach
to the Gaussian distribution is found time-consuming for
the number of component waves above 50 and hence the
simulation is carried out with 50 component waves.
MAT HE MAT I CAL F ORMUL AT I ON
An articulated tower as shown in Fig. 1 has been consid-
ered for mathematical formulation in the present study.
A universal joint is provided near the sea bed. The re-
liability assessment of universal joint against fatigue and
fracture is the objective of the present study. For this pur-
pose, dynamic analysis of the tower was carried out in
time domain and then using its response, reliability anal-
ysis is performed. The formulation for these two analyses
is presented in the following sections.
Dynamic analysis
The dynamic analysis of the platformhas been carried out
under the following assumptions:
• The flexural deformations of the platform are assumed to
be small as compared to its displacement as a rigid body.
• The topsides wind loading estimation is based on the Simiu
wind spectrum assuming an overall drag coefficient, C
d
= 2.0. An assumption is made that the wind direction is
perpendicular to the largest projected area.
• The tower has uniform properties over the segments of
uniform diameters.
• The equations of equilibrium at each time step modify
elements of the stiffness matrix to account for fluctuating
buoyancy.
Equation of motion
The governing equation of motion is given as:
[I]
_
¨
θ
_
+[C]
_
˙
θ
_
+[K] {θ} = {M
θ
}, (13)
where [I] is the mass matrix consisting of structural mass
and added mass moment of inertia. [C], the damping ma-
trix and [K], the stiffness matrix. {
¨
θ},
_
˙
θ
_
and {θ} are the
structural acceleration, velocity and displacement vectors.
{M
θ
} is the forcing function at any instant of time due to
wind and waves.
Having determined the various matrices and force vec-
tors, the next step is to integrate the equation of motion,
i.e. Eq. (13). In the present study, equation of motion is
solved in time domain using Newmark’s beta integration
method. Responses thus obtained, are employed for the
subsequent reliability analysis.
RE L I ABI L I T Y ANAL YS I S
The reliability of a structure is concerned with the cal-
culation and prediction of the probability of limit state
violation at any stage during its entire life. A limit state
function or failure equation is a mathematical represen-
tation of a particular limit state of failure. This failure
equation is mainly governed by the failure criteria and
random variables. In the present study, reliability assess-
ment of articulated joint has been carried out against fa-
tigue and fracture limit state using probabilistic analysis
solver NESSUS.
Fatigue reliability formulation
Assumptions
Following assumptions are made for the reliability analy-
sis:
• Platform failure is defined as the failure of the articulated
joint.
• There is no correlation among the two articulated joints.
• There is no inspection or repair program of articulated
joints before failure.
Limit state function
The reliability of a structure can be determined based on
a failure equation in terms of basic variables for structural
resistance and loads. Mathematically, the failure equation
g(X) can be expressed as
g (X) = R − L, (14)
where R = structural resistance and L = load effect
The surface g(X) = 0 which separates the safe and unsafe
regions is termed as the limit surface. The probability of
failure is thus expressed as
P
f
= Pr ob [g (X) ≤ 0] =
_
g(X)<0
f
x
(X) dx, (15)
where f
x
(X) is the probability density function of the
random variable X. The failure probability in terms of a
reliability index can be expressed as:
P
f
= φ (−β) , (16)
where φ = cumulative probability function of a standard
normal distribution. The complement, 1 − p
f
, is accord-
ingly referred to as the reliability. Equation (16) may also
be written in terms of the reliability index as follows:
β = −φ
−1
_
P
f
_
, (17)
where φ

() is the inverse of the standardized normal dis-
tribution function.
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RELI ABI LI TY ANALYSI S OF UNI VERSAL J OI NT OF A COMPLI ANT PLATFORM 413
F AT I GUE ANAL YS I S AND DE S I GN
APPROACHE S
Two general approaches are widely reported in the liter-
ature for fatigue and fracture limit state formulations: (i)
S-N curve approach (Kjerengtroen and Wirsching
15
) and
(ii) F-M approach (Torng and Wirsching
16
).
The S-N approach is based on experimental measure-
ment of fatigue life in terms of cycles to failure for differ-
ent stress ranges. On the other hand, the F-M approach
is based on the existence of an initial crack in a stress free
structure. Several investigators have demonstrated that
the Palmgren–Miner hypothesis cannot be used to accu-
rately predict material behaviour. However, metal fatigue
is an extremely complicated process involving two dis-
tinct phases (crack initiation and propagation) and subject
to influence by many factors such as mean stress, load-
ing rate, surface conditions, etc. It is not surprising that
a very simple model would fail to provide an accurate
description of a complex phenomenon. Nevertheless, the
Pierson-Moskowitz (P-M rule) remains, for general de-
sign purposes, as the most viable fatigue failure criterion
in the case of variable amplitude loading.
The characteristic S-N approach
The characteristic S-N approach is based on the assump-
tion that fatigue damage accumulation is a linear phe-
nomenon (Miner’s rule). According to miner’s rule, the
fatigue life of a structure under different stress ranges is
the weighted sum of the individual lives at constant stress
(σ) as given by the S-N curves, with each being weighted
according to fractional exposure to that level of stress
range. The S-N model is generally used for high cycle fa-
tigue and the basic equation that represents the S-Ncurve
is given by:
N =
K
σ
m
R
(18)
where N =number of cycles to fatigue failure, K =the in-
tercept of the S-Ncurve at σ
R
equals to one, σ
R
=constant
amplitude stress range at N and m =slope of the S-N
curve. Equation (6) can also be written as:
log N = log K −mlog σ
R
(19)
The ALP is subjected to combined action of wind and
waves which are random in nature. Consequently, the
stress process is stochastic in nature and therefore, each
stress is a random variable. In this approach, it has been
assumed that the damage on the structural component per
load cycle D
j
is constant at a given stress range σ
Rj
and is
given by:
D
j
=
1
N(σ
Rj
)
(20)
where N(σ
Rj
) is the number of cycles to cause failure at
stress range σ
Rj
. The total damage accumulated inlifetime
of the structure T
L
is given by:
D =
N(T
L)

j =1
1
N
_
σ
Rj
_ (21)
in which N(T
L
) is the total number of stress cycles to
failure at stress range σ
Rj
in time T
L
.
Using the S-N curve, accumulated damage D is written
as:
D =
N(T
L)

j =1
σ
m
Rj
K
. (22)
If N(T
L
) is relatively large, then the associated uncertainty
with the sum is to be very small and the sum can be
replaced by its expected value. Therefore,
E
¸
¸
¸
¸
¸
¸
N(T
L)

j =1
σ
m
Rj
¸
¸
¸
¸
¸
¸
= E [N(T
L
)] E
_
σ
m
Rj
_
. (23)
Stress ranges are Rayleigh distributed for a narrow band
Gaussian process, and the mean value of the stress range
follows directly as:
E
_
σ
m
Ri
_
=
_

0
(2p)
m
p
σ
p
exp
_

1
2
_
p
σ
p
_
2
_
dp (24)
= (2

2)
m
σ
m
p

_
1 +
m
2
_
. (25)
Hence, the accumulated damage D is given as:
D =
1
K
E [N(T
L
)] E
_
σ
m
R
_
. (26)
The total damage can be obtained by summing up the
accumulated damage over all the sea states which yields:
D =
T
L
K
(27)
where, is a stress parameter given as:
=
_
2

2
_
m

_
1 +
m
2
_
n

i =1
f
i
γ
i
σ
m
i
(28)
in which is a Gamma function, f
i
=
1

_
m
2
m
o
, is zero
crossing frequency of the stress process in the ith sea
state, m
o
=
_

0
ω
n
S(ω)dω is the nth moment of the stress
spectrum, γ
i
is the fraction of time spent in the ith sea
state to account for long-term sea state effect. σ
i
=

m
o
is the r.m.s. value of the stress process in the ith sea state.
Failure occurs if D ≥
F
, where
F
is the value of the
Miner–Palmgren damage index at failure. Failure is as-
sumed to occur when the damage measured D = 1. This
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2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd. Fatigue Fract Engng Mater Struct 33, 408–419
414 M. M. ZAHEER AND N. I SLAM
formulation has the advantage of simplicity, but the dam-
age measure D is not related to a direct physical quantity
such as crack length, and it ignores sequence effects.
Letting D =
F
, the basic damage expression can be
expressed in terms of time to failure T
F
of the articulated
joint as:
T
F
=

F
K

. (29)
The time of failure T
F
for the joint, considering the
associated factors as random variables may be given as:
T
F
=

F
K
i
B
m
i

. (30)
Define the intended service life of the structure as T
L
.
Then the probability of failure of the joint is
P
f
= P(T
F
− T
L
). (31)
The fatigue failure occurs when the random variable T
F
is less than T
L
. Thus, the limit state function is:
g(X) =

F
K
i
B
m
i

− T
L
. (32)
If x
1
=
F
, x
2
= K
i
, x
3
= B
i
then limit state function in
Eq. (32) can be written as:
g(X) = g(x
1
, x
2
, x
3
) =
x
1
x
2
x
m
3

− T
L
. (33)
The probability of failure P
f
is given as:
P
f
= Pr ob(T
F
≤ T
L
) = P[g(X) ≤ 0]. (34)
The reliability is thus obtained by the expression:
β = φ
−1
(P
f
), (35)
where φ

( ) is the inverse of standardized normal distri-
bution function.
The fracture mechanics approach
F-M approach is concerned with the study of the be-
haviour of structures containing flaws or cracks and is
based on crack growth data. However, this model will not
model the crack initiation phase. This approach is more
detailed and it involves examining crack growth and deter-
mining the number of load cycles that are needed for small
initial defects to grow into cracks large enough to cause
fracture. The growth rate is proportional to the stress
range. It is expressed in terms of a stress intensity factor
K, which accounts for the magnitude of the stress, cur-
rent crack size, and weld and joint details. Linear-elastic
F-M relate the growth of a crack of size a to the number
of fatigue cycles N. The most common relationship is the
Paris fatigue crack growth law (Paris
17
)
da
dN
= C

(K)
m
K > 0 (36)
in which
da
dN
= crack growth rate, k = range of stress
intensity factor, a = crack size, N = number of fatigue
cycles and C

and m are crack propagation parameters.
The range of the stress intensity factor is given by:
K = Y (a) σ
R

πa, (37)
where σ
R
is the nominal stress range and Y(a) is a func-
tion of crack geometry. When crack size a, reaches crit-
ical crack size a
c r
, failure is assumed to have occurred.
Combining the above two equations and accounting for
variable amplitude loading, we have:
_
a
c r
a

dx
Y (a)
m
_√
πx
_
m
= C

N
T
E
_
σ
m
R
_
, (38)
where N
T
is the total number of stress cycles over the
service life T
L
(years); E[.] is expectation; a

is initial crack
size and a
c r
is the crack size at failure.
Equation (38) is modified to account for stress process
from all sea states as:
_
a
c r
a

dx
Y(a)
m
(

πx)
m
= C

T
L
, (39)
where is a stress parameter given by Eq. (28).
The probabilistic model for the time to failure T
F
is
defined by Equation(40), givenbelow; taking into account
the uncertainties involved in the F-M approach
T
F
=
1
C

B
m
i

m
i
_
a
c r
a

dx
γ
i
Y (a)
m
_√
πx
_
m
(40)
in which B
i
and γ
i
are introduced to model errors in
the estimation of the stress range σ
R
and the geometry
function Y(a).
For fatigue failure, T
F
is smaller than T
L
. The limit state
function takes the form as:
g (X) =
1
C

B
m
i

m
i
_
a
c r
a

dx
γ
i
Y (a)
m
_√
πx
_
m
− T
L
(41)
If x
1
= C

, x
2
= B
i
, x
3
= a

, x
4
= γ
i
then
g (X) = g (x
1
, x
2
, x
3
, x
4
) =
1
x
1
x
m
2
x
m
4
π
m/2

×
_
a
c r
z
3
dx
Y (a)
m
x
m/2
− T
L
.
(42)
The probability of failure and safety index is given by
Eqs. (34) and (35).
S T RE S S RANGE CAL CUL AT I ON
The fatigue stress process over the service life of an off-
shore structure is non-stationary. However, it can be
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RELI ABI LI TY ANALYSI S OF UNI VERSAL J OI NT OF A COMPLI ANT PLATFORM 415
modelled by a sequence of several discrete stationary
sea states, each being characterized by significant wave
height,H
s
and wave period,T
z
. The long-term description
of the sea, which in turn represents stress, is complete if
the probability of occurrence of each sea state is known.
The long-term statistical properties of stress history are
obtained by evaluating the short-term statistics for each
sea state separately and weighing them according to the
long-term sea state probabilities. The probability of oc-
currence of each sea state is usually available as sea scatter
diagram.
For the model of a simple bottom founded structure, it
is established that predicted fatigue life, using the time
simulation and rainflow counting methods was approx-
imately 30% higher than the estimated life employing
the commonly used narrow band assumption. The fa-
tigue stress in an offshore environment is generally a wide
band stochastic process. In this study, Wirsching’s wide
band correction factor is applied to account for the possi-
ble error in the narrow band assumption. The expression
for stress parameter after applying wide band correction
factor λ is given by
=
_
2

2
_
m

_
1 +
m
2
_
n

i =1
f
i
γ
i
σ
m
i
λ
i
(43)
or
=
_
2

2
_
m

_
1 +
m
2
_
D
f
, (44)
where
D
f
= f
i
γ
i
σ
m
i
λ
i
, (45)
where λ
i
is Wirsching’s wide band correctionfactor for ith
sea state. The constant D
f
is a measure of the accumulated
damage for all sea states. After the structure is analysed
for all the sea states, the value of D
f
will be evaluated
for the joint. Estimates of λ
i
is obtained by the following
empirical expressions given by:
λ
i

i
, m) = a (m) +[1 −a (m)] (1 −ε
i
)
b(m)
, (46)
where a(m) =0.926–0.033 m
b (m) = 1.587 m−2.323
and ε
i
is the spectral width parameter for ith sea state.
For a typical ocean structure problem, if ε
i
> 0.5, then
λ
i

= 0.79 for m = 4.38 and λ
i

= 0.86 for m = 3
ME AS URE S OF S E NS I T I VI T Y
First-order reliability method (FORM) analysis provides
a measure of the sensitivity of the reliability index to the
randomvariables modelled in the analysis. The sensitivity
of a random variable is computed as:
Table 1 Properties of double pendulum articulated tower
platform
Features Value
Height of bottom tower 240 m
Height of top tower 160 m
Structural mass of top and bottom tower 2.0 E 5 N/m
Structural mass of ballast 448 400 N/m
Deck mass 2.5 E 07 N
Time periods (lower and upper shaft) 37.03 s, 32.26 s
Service life 20 years
Effective diameters (tower shafts)
For drag, buoyancy, inertia and added mass 17.0, 7.50 and 4.5 m
Effective diameter (buoyancy chamber)
For drag, buoyancy, inertia and added mass 20, 19.5 and 7.5 m
α
j
= −
_
∂g
1
∂y
j
_




n

j =1
_
∂g
1
∂y
j
_
2




1/2
(47)
where g
1
is the failure surface in the normalized coordi-
nate; y
j ∗
is the value of this variable at the design point in
the standard normal space.
A study of the sensitivity analysis helps to identify the
variables of the model that most significantly influence
the reliability of the structure. The lower the magnitude
of α
j
, the lesser is the influence of the jth random variable
on the reliability (Val et al.
18
).
NUME RI CAL S T UDY
The geometrical and mechanical characteristics of double
hinged articulated tower used in the reliability study are
given in Table 1. The ball joint of the tower has been
taken from Deep Water Gravity Tower
4
whose details
are shown in Fig. 2. For 12 simulated sea states (Table 2),
a detailed dynamic analysis has been carried out for wave
only, and combined action of wind and waves. The re-
spective time histories so obtained are statistically anal-
ysed and response statistics are obtained (Tables 3 and 4)
for the two loading environments. Hydrodynamic load-
ing for the structure were evaluated using modified Mori-
son’s equation. Dynamic wind loads based on the Simiu
wind spectrum were accounted for in the time domain
fatigue analysis. Critical structural damping ratios of 3%
were used in the fatigue analysis. The random wind and
wave loads are treated as two independent processes, and
are derived using a Monte Carlo simulation technique.
The simulated time histories are long enough (3600 s)
in order to produce stable tower response statistics and
accurately predict the platform low-frequency responses.
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2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd. Fatigue Fract Engng Mater Struct 33, 408–419
416 M. M. ZAHEER AND N. I SLAM
Table 2 Simulated sea states
Wind Significant Fraction of
Sea velocity wave Dominant time in
state, i u (m/s) height, H
s
(m) period, T
z
(s) each sea state, γ
i
1 24.38 17.15 13.26 0.00000037
2 23.29 15.65 12.66 0.00000238
3 22.15 14.15 12.04 0.00001437
4 20.94 12.65 11.39 0.00007980
5 19.66 11.15 10.69 0.00040572
6 18.29 9.65 9.94 0.00187129
7 16.81 8.15 9.14 0.00773824
8 15.18 6.65 8.26 0.02822122
9 13.36 5.15 7.26 0.08851105
10 11.25 3.65 6.12 0.22831162
11 8.63 2.15 4.69 0.43542358
12 4.75 0.65 2.58 0.20942036
Table 3 Statistics of hinge shear stresses under long crested
random wave only
Sea Fraction of time in Zero crossing R.m.s. stress
state, i each sea state, γ
i
rate f
i
σ
m
i
(MPa)
1 0.00000037 0.042 40.52
2 0.00000238 0.153 35.66
3 0.00001437 0.337 31.36
4 0.00007980 0.508 26.69
5 0.00040572 0.401 18.75
6 0.00187129 0.332 28.49
7 0.00773824 0.381 14.43
8 0.02822122 0.395 13.58
9 0.08851105 0.404 10.86
10 0.22831162 0.613 6.19
11 0.43542358 0.674 3.33
12 0.20942036 0.711 1.46
Table 4 Statistics of hinge shear stresses under long crested
random waves + wind
Sea Fraction of time in Zero crossing R.m.s. stress
state, i each sea state, γ
i
rate f
i
σ
m
i
(MPa)
1 0.00000037 0.149 38.63
2 0.00000238 0.187 36.15
3 0.00001437 0.313 43.71
4 0.00007980 0.640 27.26
5 0.00040572 0.401 18.75
6 0.00187129 0.325 16.07
7 0.00773824 0.373 14.09
8 0.02822122 0.392 12.88
9 0.08851105 0.417 9.50
10 0.22831162 0.581 5.48
11 0.43542358 0.602 2.78
12 0.20942036 0.631 1.07
Table 5 Data for fatigue reliability investigation (S-N model)
Random variable Mean/median COV Distribution
P-M damage index 1.0 0.30 Log normal
at failure,
F
Fatigue strength 5.27 E +12 MPa 0.63 Log normal
coefficient, A
Stress modelling 1.0 0.20 Log normal
error, B
Fatigue exponent, m 3.0 - Constant
Table 6 Data for fatigue reliability investigation (F-M model)
Random variable Mean/median COV Distribution
Paris coefficient, C 1.8 E -12 MPa 0.63 Log normal
Stress modelling error, B 1.0 0.20 Log normal
Modelling error in Y(a), γ
i
1.0 0.10 Log normal
Initial crack length, 0.005 - Exponential
a

(mm)
Critical crack length, 8.0 - Constant
a
c
(mm)
Paris exponent, m 3.0 - Constant
Table 7 Probability of failure and reliability index using S-N
curve approach
FORM Monte Carlo
Reliability method (→)
Sea environment (↓) P
f
β P
f
β
Wave only 0.142E -4 4.186 0.260E -4 4.046
Wave + wind 0.236E -5 4.577 0.333E -5 4.504
The description of random variables considered in the
reliability analysis based on the Miner–Palmgren damage
model and F-M model has been given in Tables 5 and
6. Subsequently, reliability analyses have been carried out
using S-N curve and F-M approaches.
DI S CUS S I ON OF RE S UL T S
Wave alone environment
To study the joint reliability under wave alone, response
statistics of hinge shear stresses have been obtained for
12 simulated sea states as shown in Table 3. The prob-
ability of failure and reliability indices of the joint ob-
tained from S-N and F-M model are shown in Tables 7
and 8. The reliability indices values from the two
approaches obtained for wave only are 4.186 and 4.381,
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RELI ABI LI TY ANALYSI S OF UNI VERSAL J OI NT OF A COMPLI ANT PLATFORM 417
Table 8 Probability of failure and reliability index using F-M
approach
FORM Monte Carlo
Reliability method (→)
Sea environment (↓) P
f
β P
f
β
Wave only 0.593E -5 4.381 0.306E -4 4.007
Wave + wind 0.133E -5 4.694 0.113E -4 4.237
respectively (using advanced FORM simulation). These
results show that the S-N curve approach gives somewhat
conservative results as compared to F-M approach. This
is because in S-N approach, through thickness crack is
normally defined as failure criteria. On the other hand in
F-M approach, failure occurs when an initial crack size
(original imperfections) reaches to final crack size (unsta-
ble length). Furthermore, Tables 7 and 8 also shows that
advanced FORM formulation gave results in close prox-
imity with Monte Carlo method. Therefore, advanced
FORM formulation provides equally viable solution for
fatigue reliability as Monte Carlo simulation method.
Combined wind and wave environment
Analysis under wave alone is not a realistic proposition be-
cause wind is the major source of sea wave generation. In
the present study, correlated wind and waves are consid-
ered (Table 2). It makes a more realistic model of ocean
environment. Response statistics of hinge shear stresses
under combined action of wind and waves are given in
Table 4. On comparing Tables 3 and 4, it is observed
that zero crossing rate increases when wind is included.
This may be due to the fact that by the incorporation
of wind loading, effective wave height exponent reduces
prior to wave breaking. Again from Tables 7 and 8, it is
seen that wind causes a reduction of probability of failure.
This reduction is of the order of 8.5 and 6.6%for S-Nand
F-M approaches using FORM formulation. It is mainly
due to the attenuating effect of the wind
19
which acts
on the exposed superstructure of the articulated tower.
Due to this attenuation effect, reliability index has been
improved from 4.186 to 4.577 for S-N model and from
4.381 to 4.694 for F-M model using advanced FORM
formulation.
Sensitivity analysis
Sensitivity analysis gives quantitative dependence of
reliability on the value of sensitivity factor for ran-
dom variables. Table 9 shows the sensitivity factor val-
ues of random variables in the limit state function
based on S-N curve approach. The sensitivity factors
for Miner–Palmgren damage index (F), and fatigue
Table 9 Sensitivity factors using S-N curve approach
Sensitivity factor (→)
Sea environment (↓) α
1
α
2
α
3
Wave only −0.3374 −0.6645 0.6668
Wave + wind −0.3372 −0.6641 0.6673
α
1
= P-M damage index at failure
F
, α
2
= Fatigue strength coef-
ficient A, α
3
= Stress modelling error B.
Table 10 Sensitivity factors using F-M approach
Sensitivity factor (→)
Sea environment (↓) α
1
α
2
α
3
α
4
Wave only 0.55718 0.57252 0.52784 0.28835
Wave + wind 0.56313 0.57866 0.51296 0.29144
α
1
=Paris coefficient C, α
2
=Stress modelling error B, α
3
=Initial
crack length a

and α
4
= Modelling error in Y(a), γ
i
.
strength coefficient ( A) are negative, hence, they are re-
sistance variables. Whereas, sensitivity factor for stress
modelling error (B
i
) is positive, hence, it will contribute
to load part of the limit state function. It is also seen that
out of the two resistance variables, reliability of the joint
is more sensitive to ( A) than (F). It is also seen that out
of the two resistance variables, the reliability of the joint
is influenced more by variation in the fatigue strength
coefficient ( A) than P-M damage index at failure
F
for
both the loading environments. It is therefore essential
to accurately model the statistical information of fatigue
strength coefficient ( A).
Table 10 shows results of sensitivity analysis for F-M
based model. It is seen that all the random variables ap-
pearing inthe limit state functionare positive whichshows
that these variables will contribute to the load part only.
This is due to the fact that in F-M approach, critical
crack size (a

) is the resistance parameter which has been
assumed as deterministic. For a given uncertainty, reli-
ability of articulated joint will decrease for any increase
in magnitude of random variables as all of them are load
variables.
Design point or most probable point
A point on the limit state surface that corresponds to the
shortest distance from the origin in the reduced coordi-
nate system is defined as the design point or most proba-
ble point. Tables 11 and 12 show the values of the design
point on failure surface for the two approaches. Design
point values are essential for reliability based probabilistic
design of articulated joint. In such designs partial safety
factors for load and resistance variables are determined
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2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd. Fatigue Fract Engng Mater Struct 33, 408–419
418 M. M. ZAHEER AND N. I SLAM
Table 11 Design point or most probable point using S-N curve
approach
Random variables (→)
Sea environment (↓) z
1
z
2
z
3
Wave only 0.642856 0.949E +12 1.6686
Wave + wind 0.618272 0.816E +12 1.7589
z
1
= P-M damage index at failure
F
, z
2
= Fatigue strength coef-
ficient Aand z
3
= Stress modelling error B.
Table 12 Design point or most probable point using F-M
approach
Random variables (→)
Sea environment (↓) z
1
z
2
z
3
z
4
Wave only 6.9 E -10 1.561 0.0194 1.093
Wave + wind 7.7 E -10 1.681 0.0213 1.114
z
1
= Paris coefficient C, z
2
= Stress modelling error B, z
3
= Initial
crack length a

and z
4
= Modelling error in Y(a), γ
i
.
Table 13 Effect of probability distribution in random variables on
reliability index (S-N model)
FORM
Reliability method →
Sea environment ↓ A b C d
Wave only 4.18 3.26 1.54 1.54
Wave + wind 4.57 3.27 1.56 1.56
a = All random variables are log normally distributed.
b =
F
and B
i
(normal); A
i
(log normal).
c =
F
and B
i
(log normal); A
i
(normal).
d = All random variables are normally distributed.
for achieving the target reliability (i.e. target reliability
index).
Effect of probability distribution
To study the effect of probability distributions of ran-
dom variables on the reliability of articulated joint, four
cases have been considered as shown in Tables 13 and
14. The results show that for S-N model, the reliability
is under estimated for case d when all the random vari-
ables are normally distributed. Same results have been
obtained for case c also. The reliability index for case b is
improved significantly indicating that exact distribution
of variable A
i
governs the probability of failure. For F-M
model, reliability is overestimated if all the variables are
considered as normally distributed. Thus it may be con-
cluded that for fatigue analysis an accurate assumption of
random variable distribution is highly significant.
Table 14 Effect of probability distribution in random variables on
reliability index (F-M model)
FORM
Reliability method →
Sea environment ↓ a b c d
Wave only 4.38 8.29 10.27 8.07
Wave + wind 4.78 7.34 10.01 9.67
a = All variables have original distribution except a

(exp).
b = C
o
(normal); B
i
and γ
i
(log normal); a

= Exponential.
c = C
o
(log normal);B
i
and γ
i
(normal); a

= Exponential.
d = All variables are normally distributed except a

(exp).
Table 15 Effect of design life on probability of failure using S-N
curve approach
Wave only Wind +wave
Service life
T
L
(years) P
f
β P
f
β
10 0.353 × 10
−6
4.960 0.433 × 10
−7
5.353
15 0.326 × 10
−5
4.508 0.491 × 10
−6
4.895
20 0.142 × 10
−4
4.186 0.236 × 10
−5
4.577
25 0.421 × 10
−4
3.932 0.756 × 10
−5
4.326
Table 16 Effect of design life on probability of failure using F-M
approach
Wave only Wind +wave
Service life
T
L
(years) P
f
β P
f
β
10 0.853 × 10
−6
4.785 0.171 × 10
−6
5.098
15 0.269 × 10
−5
4.549 0.581 × 10
−6
4.862
20 0.593 × 10
−5
4.381 0.133 × 10
−5
4.694
25 0.106 × 10
−4
4.250 0.249 × 10
−5
4.565
Effect of design life
Design life directly affects the probability of failure of ar-
ticulated joint. Tables 15 and 16 shows an expected trend.
As the design life requirement increases, corresponding
probability of failure also increases.
Effect of reliability method
Probabilities of failure and reliability indices of three dif-
ferent reliability methods have been compared in Table
17 for wave only and wave plus wind. These reliability
methods are: (i) FORM, (ii) Advanced First Order Reli-
ability Method (AFORM) and (iii) Monte Carlo method.
Table 17 shows that reliability indices are in close agree-
ment; therefore, FORM is also equally good method of
reliability estimation.
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2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd. Fatigue Fract Engng Mater Struct 33, 408–419
RELI ABI LI TY ANALYSI S OF UNI VERSAL J OI NT OF A COMPLI ANT PLATFORM 419
Table 17 Effect of reliability method (S-M model)
FORM AFORM Monte Carlo
Sea idealization P
f
β P
f
β P
f
β
Wave only 0.284 × 10
−4
4.025 0.142 × 10
−4
4.186 0.260 × 10
−4
4.046
Wave + wind 0.489 × 10
−5
4.218 0.236 × 10
−5
4.577 0.333 × 10
−5
4.504
CONCL US I ONS
Following conclusions may be drawn from the study:
• S-N curve approach yields a significantly conservative es-
timate of probability of failure as compared to the F-M
approach.
• Probabilities of failure and reliability indices obtained
from advanced FORM and Monte Carlo methods are
observed to be in close proximity. Therefore, advanced
FORM is computationally efficient, economical and accu-
rate method for the reliability estimation.
• The inclusion of wind with waves in the analysis causes a
reduction of probability of failure of the universal joint.
• In S-N curve approach, the reliability is more sensitive
to fatigue strength coefficient ( A) while in F-M approach,
reliability is most sensitive to stress modelling error (B) and
least sensitive to modelling error in geometry function (γ ).
• For fatigue analysis anaccurate assumptionof randomvari-
able distribution is highly significant.
• Fatigue reliability of universal joint is inversely propor-
tional to its service life.
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2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd. Fatigue Fract Engng Mater Struct 33, 408–419

Dong and Hong7 presented a master S-N curve approach using the mesh-insensitive structural stress parameter and its direct linkage to fracture mechanics (F-M) principle. Reliability analysis of structures under wave loading (Moses et al. Numerous research studies have been conducted in this field on both the theoretical and practical aspects. In order to offset and complement the frequency domain approach. Sedillot et al. Fatigue and wear studies were carried out on Baldpate compliant tower by Chen and Will.9 proposed a methodology of system reliability-based assessment for the single point mooring jacket platforms. Therefore. they are free to move with wind and waves. The time variant loadings due to wind and waves cause fluctuating shear stresses in the articulated joint of the tower. its fatigue and fracture reliability assessment is of great importance.s. The impact on the fatigue damage due to the low-frequency responses. value of the stress process in the ith sea state ¨ ˙ {θ }. 408–419 . Jin et al. It was concluded that system reliability-based assessment method could provide important and reliable referential c 2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.RELIABILITY ANALYSIS OF UNIVERSAL JOINT OF A COMPLIANT PLATFORM 409 P f = probability of failure R = structural resistance TF = time to failure TL = lifetime of the structure Tz = zero crossing period u(z) = wind velocity Y(a) = function of crack geometry y j ∗ = value of the variable at the design point in the standard normal space α j = sensitivity of a random variable F = Miner–Palmgren damage index at failure K = range of stress intensity factor = Gamma function γi = fraction of time spent in the ith sea state λ = Wirsching’s wide band correction factor = stress parameter φ = cumulative probability function of a standard normal distribution φ − ( ) = inverse of the standardized normal distribution function σ R = constant amplitude stress range σ R = nominal stress range σi = r. and its failure will lead severe consequences.. In fact. 1 is a compliant offshore structure which is provided with large buoyancy chambers near the water surface. With the master S-N curve method. velocity and displacement vectors INTRODUCTION An articulated tower platform as shown in Fig. its applications were illustrated by using various offshore/marine examples. Siddiqui and Ahmad6 studied fatigue and fracture reliability of tension leg platform tethers under wind and wave loading. Consequently. In their study. Fatigue Fract Engng Mater Struct 33.1 Wirshing. cannot be fully captured by the traditional frequency domain analysis. LITERATURE SURVEY Fatigue cracking of structural details in offshore structures due to cyclic loading has gained considerable attention in the past few years. tubular joints in offshore structures and pipe joints for riser applications can be collapsed into a single curve. the platform is attached to the sea bed through it that allows controlled articulation under environmental loadings.2 and Committee on Structural Reliability of Offshore Structures3 ) forms a distinct class of problems in the literature called reliability and safety of offshore structures. Low-frequency response is an inherent characteristic of compliant platforms and in general is caused by dynamic wind and wave loadings.m.4 discussed the design and fatigue analysis of a laminated rubber articulated joint for the deep-water gravity articulated tower. however.5 They concluded that the impact of fatigue damage due wind loads are significant and cannot be ignored. Being compliant in nature. a great number of papers have been published resulting in various topics relating to fatigue assessment.{θ }and {θ } = structural acceleration. referred to as the master S-N curve. a time domain direct integration approach has to be adopted for fatigue life assessment of the articulated tower. Fatigue life assessments of the compliant articulated tower require treatment of the low-frequency responses which can aggravate the fatigue damage in the articulation points. Yamashita and Sekita8 carried out fatigue damage analysis on offshore wind turbines subjected to wind and wave loads.

M. They include a crack growth formulation based on bi-linear crack growth law. 1 Articulated tower. suggestions for the design. Fig. Pillai and Veena10 describe a methodology for computation of reliability of members of fixed offshore platforms with respect to fatigue using F-M principle. located at the upper part of the fixed base and on the vertical axis of the structure. and to the outer shell which is located in the base central member. ZAHEER AND N. is surrounded by two rows of eight trapezoidal pads. there is still scope of work in this area because it is associated with large number of uncertainties and a high degree of complexity. The ball joint for the articulated tower has been taken from ‘Deep Water Gravity Tower’. 408–419 . maintenance and repair of single point mooring jackets.4 ). This paper deals with a comprehensive study on the fatigue reliability analysis of articulated tower under wind and wave environment. The torsional moment is resisted by a wide torsional frame as shown in Fig. Description of the ball joint THE ARTICULATION SYSTEM It is composed of two different devices as shown in Figs 2 and 3. The two extreme plates are 40 mm thick. about 6 mm thick. Uraga and Moan11 investigated alternate S-N and F-M formulations of fatigue. 3 The articulation system: torsional frame (Courtesy: Sedillot et al. 3. 10 to 15 mm thick. having two opposite angles connected to the base structure and the two other ones to the steel tower.410 M.20 m in diameter. The pads are firmly fastened to the inner shell which is connected to the central vertical member of the steel tower. as shown in Fig. ISLAM Fig. about 1. These devices collectively allowed an imposed rotation due to the tilting of the tower by environmental forces. Fig. 2 Articulated joint [Courtesy: Sedillot et al. 2. When a rotation is imposed to the c 2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd. supports the vertical and horizontal reactions.4 ). The rubber articulated joint. In addition. very little literature exists on the reliability analysis of articulated joint. Despite continuing research in the area of reliability analysis of offshore structures against dynamic forces. considering both segments of the crack growth law as correlated and non-correlated in the fracture probability calculation.4 which consists of a series of laminated rubber pads inserted between two hemispherical steel shells. This frame is provided in the horizontal diametral plane of the joint. Each pad is composed of a sandwich of layers of rubber. Fatigue Fract Engng Mater Struct 33. and of curved metallic plates. A central circular pad.

ω2 . 2. φi is the phase angle of the ith component wave randomly chosen between 0 and 2π. Further. . The series representation of sea surface elevation η(t) is given by the equation K η(t) = i=1 Ai cos(ki x − ωi t + φi ). are generated by using wave superposition technique. The selection of frequency ωi is done such that these frequencies are uncorrelated so that they do not constitute harmonics with each other. S(ω) is the spectral density value of one sided sea surface elevation spectrum at the frequency ωi .5 ωi−1 + ωi ωi = ωi − ωi−1 i = 1. Sarpakaya and Isaacson14 gave the following empirical relations for significant wave height Hs and zero crossing period Tz . so that variation of vertical reaction. The linearized small amplitude wave theory allows the summation of velocity potential. Twelve significant wave heights are selected such that f (Hs ) Hs ≈ 1. ωk−1 are chosen. x is the structural displacement. . Ai is the amplitude of the ith component wave.e. sea states have been simulated by using Eqs (1)–(3). at random. The initial frequency ω0 is set equal to ωmin and the last one is ωk = ωmax . . ki is the wave number of the ith component wave. Results in very little vertical displacement.12 The long-term distribution of the significant wave height based on these parameters is given as under f (Hs ) = C B Hs − A B C−1 e −( Hs −A C B ) (1) where A = lower limit of Hs . ωi is the wave frequency of the ith component wave. the range of the frequencies. 3. which develop only negligible resisting forces.594. These results have been presented in Table 2. The parameters A.RELIABILITY ANALYSIS OF UNIVERSAL JOINT OF A COMPLIANT PLATFORM 411 articulation point. ω3 . The generated synthetic random wave is considered to be adequately represented by the summation of K number of sinusoids (harmonics) ωmax ω1 1 k−2 . zero crossing period Tz and mean wind velocity u(z) may be obtained assuming the same probability of occurrence for Tz and u(z) as Hs . (4) where Ai = 2[S(ωi ) ωi ] (5) SIMULATION OF SEA STATE The description of sea states have been given by three parameter Weibull distribution. Fatigue Fract Engng Mater Struct 33. and following the normal distribution. . wind and waves are considered to be in correlated fashion. from the lowest frequency. represented by a sea surface elevation. these elastomeric pads have a very high stiffness in the axial direction. In this formulation. The random phase angle φi must be chosen such that the resultant function η(t) follows the c 2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd. i. in random phase. ωi is calculated as: ωi = 0. wave elevation and water particle kinematics of individual waves to form a random wave made up of a number of components. B = 2. The area of each strip provides the magnitude of the corresponding probability of occurrence of sea state. mainly due to their low shear stiffness. Tz = 32π Hs g g Hs . The selection is done with the aid of a random-number-generation process program on the computer. . K is the number of wave harmonics considered in the simulation. due to live loads on deck or to effects of environmental loads.385 (Mathinsen and Bitner-Gregersen13 ) Corresponding to a known significant wave height Hs . The synthetic waves corresponding to a particular sea state.290 and C = 1. (11) (12) The above process of random selection of component frequency is repeated for each run of each sea surface elevation spectrum. the secondary dividing frequencies ω1 .283 (2) in which. ωmax is divided into (k − 1) sub-ranges with the dividing frequencies constituting a power series of: ω1 = ωmin + ω2 = ω1 C k ωi = ωi−1 Ck ωk−1 = ω1 Ck where (k−2) ωmax − ωmin k−1 (6) (7) (8) . (9) u(z) = (3) Ck = In the present study. These constants are found to be as A = 0. 408–419 . ωi and its bandwidth. in respective subranges. the inner shell rotates and opposes a tangential distortion to the pads. the whole area under the ( f (Hs ) versus Hs ) curve have been divided into 12 rectangular strips of width Hs . B and C have been obtained from a scatter diagram of North Sea location. . . Finally the component frequency. First. ωmin to the highest frequency. (10) Then. . k. 0. B = scale parameter and C = shape parameter. as given by Karadeniz et al.

θ and {θ } are the structural acceleration. the failure equation g(X) can be expressed as g (X) = R − L. (17) where φ − () is the inverse of the standardized normal distribution function. This has been done with the generation of random numbers normally distributed between 0 and 2π. reliability analysis is performed. • There is no correlation among the two articulated joints. ISLAM Gaussian distribution. Cd = 2. Responses thus obtained. (16) where φ = cumulative probability function of a standard normal distribution. Mathematically. (14) where R = structural resistance and L = load effect The surface g(X) = 0 which separates the safe and unsafe regions is termed as the limit surface. • The topsides wind loading estimation is based on the Simiu wind spectrum assuming an overall drag coefficient. Fatigue Fract Engng Mater Struct 33. c 2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd. Fatigue reliability formulation Assumptions Following assumptions are made for the reliability analysis: • Platform failure is defined as the failure of the articulated joint. ZAHEER AND N. The complement. • There is no inspection or repair program of articulated joints before failure. The probability of failure is thus expressed as P f = Pr ob [g (X) ≤ 0] = g(X)<0 Equation of motion The governing equation of motion is given as: ¨ ˙ [I] θ + [C] θ + [K] {θ } = {Mθ }. dynamic analysis of the tower was carried out in time domain and then using its response. Dynamic analysis The dynamic analysis of the platform has been carried out under the following assumptions: • The flexural deformations of the platform are assumed to be small as compared to its displacement as a rigid body. The failure probability in terms of a reliability index can be expressed as: P f = φ (−β) . (13). [C]. Eq. the next step is to integrate the equation of motion. equation of motion is solved in time domain using Newmark’s beta integration method. • The equations of equilibrium at each time step modify elements of the stiffness matrix to account for fluctuating buoyancy. Equation (16) may also be written in terms of the reliability index as follows: β = −φ −1 P f . where f x (X) is the probability density function of the random variable X. Limit state function The reliability of a structure can be determined based on a failure equation in terms of basic variables for structural resistance and loads. (15) where [I] is the mass matrix consisting of structural mass and added mass moment of inertia. the asymptotic approach to the Gaussian distribution is found time-consuming for the number of component waves above 50 and hence the simulation is carried out with 50 component waves. {Mθ } is the forcing function at any instant of time due to wind and waves. are employed for the subsequent reliability analysis. the damping ma¨ ˙ trix and [K].412 M. In the present study.e. i. reliability assessment of articulated joint has been carried out against fatigue and fracture limit state using probabilistic analysis solver NESSUS. 408–419 . RELIABILITY ANALYSIS MATHEMATICAL FORMULATION An articulated tower as shown in Fig. {θ }. 1 − p f . M. Based on the performed studies. the stiffness matrix. A limit state function or failure equation is a mathematical representation of a particular limit state of failure.0. • The tower has uniform properties over the segments of uniform diameters. The reliability of a structure is concerned with the calculation and prediction of the probability of limit state violation at any stage during its entire life. The reliability assessment of universal joint against fatigue and fracture is the objective of the present study. This failure equation is mainly governed by the failure criteria and random variables. velocity and displacement vectors. Having determined the various matrices and force vectors. The formulation for these two analyses is presented in the following sections. (13) f x (X) dx. For this purpose. is accordingly referred to as the reliability. 1 has been considered for mathematical formulation in the present study. A universal joint is provided near the sea bed. In the present study. An assumption is made that the wind direction is perpendicular to the largest projected area.

K =the intercept of the S-N curve at σ R equals to one. Several investigators have demonstrated that the Palmgren–Miner hypothesis cannot be used to accurately predict material behaviour. the accumulated damage D is given as: D= 1 m E [N (TL )] E σ R . In this approach. the fatigue life of a structure under different stress ranges is the weighted sum of the individual lives at constant stress (σ ) as given by the S-N curves.s. accumulated damage D is written as: N(TL ) D= j =1 m σR j K . mo (28) is zero The ALP is subjected to combined action of wind and waves which are random in nature.m. it has been assumed that the damage on the structural component per load cycle D j is constant at a given stress range σ R j and is given by: Dj = 1 N(σ R j ) (20) is a Gamma function. then the associated uncertainty with the sum is to be very small and the sum can be replaced by its expected value. K (26) The total damage can be obtained by summing up the accumulated damage over all the sea states which yields: D= TL K is a stress parameter given as: m n where N =number of cycles to fatigue failure. This c 2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd. 408–419 . Equation (6) can also be written as: log N = log K − m log σ R (19) (27) where. σ R =constant amplitude stress range at N and m =slope of the S-N curve. Using the S-N curve. each stress is a random variable. with each being weighted according to fractional exposure to that level of stress range. According to miner’s rule. and the mean value of the stress range follows directly as: m E σ Ri = ∞ 0 (2 p)m p 1 exp − σp 2 m . Nevertheless. (22) If N(TL ) is relatively large. Consequently. the F-M approach is based on the existence of an initial crack in a stress free structure. fi = crossing frequency of the stress process in the ith sea ∞ state. the stress process is stochastic in nature and therefore. surface conditions. σi = mo is the r. as the most viable fatigue failure criterion in the case of variable amplitude loading. The S-N model is generally used for high cycle fatigue and the basic equation that represents the S-N curve is given by: K N= m σR (18) where N(σ R j ) is the number of cycles to cause failure at stress range σ R j . loading rate. However. (23) Stress ranges are Rayleigh distributed for a narrow band Gaussian process. Failure occurs if D ≥ F . Therefore. Fatigue Fract Engng Mater Struct 33. √ = 2 2 in which 1+ m 2 fi γi σim i=1 1 2π m2 . The characteristic S-N approach The characteristic S-N approach is based on the assumption that fatigue damage accumulation is a linear phenomenon (Miner’s rule). metal fatigue is an extremely complicated process involving two distinct phases (crack initiation and propagation) and subject to influence by many factors such as mean stress. mo = 0 ωn S(ω)dω is the nth moment of the stress spectrum. value of the stress process in the ith sea state. The S-N approach is based on experimental measurement of fatigue life in terms of cycles to failure for different stress ranges. etc.RELIABILITY ANALYSIS OF UNIVERSAL JOINT OF A COMPLIANT PLATFORM 413 FATIGUE ANALYSIS AND DESIGN APPROACHES Two general approaches are widely reported in the literature for fatigue and fracture limit state formulations: (i) S-N curve approach (Kjerengtroen and Wirsching15 ) and (ii) F-M approach (Torng and Wirsching16 ). γi is the fraction of time spent in the ith sea √ state to account for long-term sea state effect. the Pierson-Moskowitz (P-M rule) remains. where F is the value of the Miner–Palmgren damage index at failure. Failure is assumed to occur when the damage measured D = 1. It is not surprising that a very simple model would fail to provide an accurate description of a complex phenomenon. The total damage accumulated in lifetime of the structure TL is given by: N(TL ) D= j =1 1 N σR j (21) in which N(TL ) is the total number of stress cycles to failure at stress range σ R j in time TL . 2 p σp 2 dp (24) √ m = (2 2)m σ p 1+ (25) Hence. for general design purposes. On the other hand. N(TL ) E j =1 m m σ R j = E [N (TL )] E σ R j .

(30) Define the intended service life of the structure as TL . given below. k = range of stress intensity factor. Linear-elastic F-M relate the growth of a crack of size a to the number of fatigue cycles N. reaches critical crack size a c r . The fracture mechanics approach F-M approach is concerned with the study of the behaviour of structures containing flaws or cracks and is based on crack growth data. The limit state function takes the form as: g (X) = 1 C◦ Bim ac r m i a◦ γi Y (a) m dx √ πx m − TL (41) If x1 = C◦ . x2 . The reliability is thus obtained by the expression: β=φ −1 where is a stress parameter given by Eq. x2 = Bi . x3 . The range of the stress intensity factor is given by: √ (37) K = Y (a) σ R πa. Equation (38) is modified to account for stress process from all sea states as: ac r a◦ If x1 = F . the limit state function is: g(X) = F Ki Bim − TL . (35) where φ − ( ) is the inverse of standardized normal distribution function. the basic damage expression can be expressed in terms of time to failure TF of the articulated joint as: TF = FK Paris fatigue crack growth law (Paris17 ) da = C◦ ( K )m dN K >0 (36) . x4 ) = 1 m m x1 x2 x4 π m/2 × ac r z3 dx − TL . this model will not model the crack initiation phase. it can be c 2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd. which accounts for the magnitude of the stress. failure is assumed to have occurred. However. and weld and joint details. x4 = γi then g (X) = g (x1 . Then the probability of failure of the joint is P f = P (TF − TL ). The growth rate is proportional to the stress range. current crack size. x3 ) = x1 x2 − TL . but the damage measure D is not related to a direct physical quantity such as crack length. For fatigue failure. The most common relationship is the in which Bi and γi are introduced to model errors in the estimation of the stress range σ R and the geometry function Y(a). (34) and (35). (28). x2 = K i . However. Y (a)m x m/2 (42) The probability of failure and safety index is given by Eqs. and it ignores sequence effects. a = crack size. (31) where σ R is the nominal stress range and Y(a) is a function of crack geometry. This approach is more detailed and it involves examining crack growth and determining the number of load cycles that are needed for small initial defects to grow into cracks large enough to cause fracture. E[. ZAHEER AND N. x2 . (32) where NT is the total number of stress cycles over the service life TL (years). Bim da in which dN = crack growth rate. Letting D = F . (29) The time of failure TF for the joint. x3 = a ◦ . taking into account the uncertainties involved in the F-M approach TF = 1 C◦ Bim ac r m i a◦ (34) γi Y (a) m dx √ πx m (40) (P f ). x3 = Bi then limit state function in Eq. Fatigue Fract Engng Mater Struct 33. 408–419 . STRESS RANGE CALCULATION The fatigue stress process over the service life of an offshore structure is non-stationary. Thus. Combining the above two equations and accounting for variable amplitude loading. √ Y(a)m ( π x)m (39) The probability of failure P f is given as: P f = Pr ob(TF ≤ TL ) = P [g(X) ≤ 0]. (32) can be written as: g(X) = g(x1 . ISLAM formulation has the advantage of simplicity. N = number of fatigue cycles and C◦ and m are crack propagation parameters. (38) The fatigue failure occurs when the random variable TF is less than TL .414 M. m x3 (33) dx = C◦ TL . considering the associated factors as random variables may be given as: TF = F Ki . The probabilistic model for the time to failure TF is defined by Equation (40). M. It is expressed in terms of a stress intensity factor K .] is expectation. we have: ac r a◦ dx √ Y (a) πx m m m = C◦ NT E σ R . TF is smaller than TL . a ◦ is initial crack size and a c r is the crack size at failure. When crack size a.

The respective time histories so obtained are statistically analysed and response statistics are obtained (Tables 3 and 4) for the two loading environments. each being characterized by significant wave height. The sensitivity of a random variable is computed as: The geometrical and mechanical characteristics of double hinged articulated tower used in the reliability study are given in Table 1. it is established that predicted fatigue life.033 m b (m) = 1. 19. the value of D f will be evaluated for the joint. where a(m) =0. and combined action of wind and waves.50 and 4. The probability of occurrence of each sea state is usually available as sea scatter diagram. m) = a (m) + [1 − a (m)] (1 − εi )b(m) . The constant D f is a measure of the accumulated damage for all sea states. y j ∗ is the value of this variable at the design point in the standard normal space.0. the lesser is the influence of the jth random variable on the reliability (Val et al. Wirsching’s wide band correction factor is applied to account for the possible error in the narrow band assumption. After the structure is analysed for all the sea states.Hs and wave period.323 and εi is the spectral width parameter for ith sea state. inertia and added mass Value 240 m 160 m 2. buoyancy. c 2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.5 m 20. (45) where g 1 is the failure surface in the normalized coordinate.26 s 20 years 17. For a typical ocean structure problem. The expression for stress parameter after applying wide band correction factor λ is given by √ = 2 2 or m Table 1 Properties of double pendulum articulated tower platform Features Height of bottom tower Height of top tower Structural mass of top and bottom tower Structural mass of ballast Deck mass Time periods (lower and upper shaft) Service life Effective diameters (tower shafts) For drag. A study of the sensitivity analysis helps to identify the variables of the model that most significantly influence the reliability of the structure. For the model of a simple bottom founded structure. The lower the magnitude of α j . The simulated time histories are long enough (3600 s) in order to produce stable tower response statistics and accurately predict the platform low-frequency responses. using the time simulation and rainflow counting methods was approximately 30% higher than the estimated life employing the commonly used narrow band assumption.79 for m = 4. where λi is Wirsching’s wide band correction factor for ith sea state. Estimates of λi is obtained by the following empirical expressions given by: λi (εi .587 m − 2.5 and 7.Tz .38 and λi ∼ 0. inertia and added mass Effective diameter (buoyancy chamber) For drag. 2. 408–419 . The ball joint of the tower has been taken from Deep Water Gravity Tower4 whose details are shown in Fig. if εi > 0. The long-term statistical properties of stress history are obtained by evaluating the short-term statistics for each sea state separately and weighing them according to the long-term sea state probabilities. which in turn represents stress. 32.5 E 07 N 37. Hydrodynamic loading for the structure were evaluated using modified Morison’s equation. The long-term description of the sea.86 for m = 3 = = (46) NUMERICAL STUDY MEASURES OF SENSITIVITY First-order reliability method (FORM) analysis provides a measure of the sensitivity of the reliability index to the random variables modelled in the analysis. 7.RELIABILITY ANALYSIS OF UNIVERSAL JOINT OF A COMPLIANT PLATFORM 415 modelled by a sequence of several discrete stationary sea states.5. Dynamic wind loads based on the Simiu wind spectrum were accounted for in the time domain fatigue analysis. then λi ∼ 0.926–0. In this study. For 12 simulated sea states (Table 2).5 m αj = −⎧ ⎨ ⎩ ∂g 1 ∂y j n j =1 ∗ ∂g 1 ∂y j 2⎬ ∗ ⎫1/2 ⎭ (47) 1+ m 2 n fi γi σim λi i=1 (43) √ = 2 2 m 1+ m Df .18 ). a detailed dynamic analysis has been carried out for wave only. buoyancy. Fatigue Fract Engng Mater Struct 33. 2 (44) where D f = fi γi σim λi . and are derived using a Monte Carlo simulation technique. Critical structural damping ratios of 3% were used in the fatigue analysis.03 s. The fatigue stress in an offshore environment is generally a wide band stochastic process.0 E 5 N/m 448 400 N/m 2. The random wind and wave loads are treated as two independent processes. is complete if the probability of occurrence of each sea state is known.

36 11. The reliability indices values from the two approaches obtained for wave only are 4.66 18.65 14.0 COV 0.38 23.66 31.00001437 0. stress σim (MPa) 38.00000037 0.07 14.08851105 0. F Fatigue strength coefficient.65 8.395 0.30 0.10 Distribution Log normal Log normal Log normal Exponential Constant Constant Table 3 Statistics of hinge shear stresses under long crested random wave only Sea state.046 4.577 Monte Carlo Pf 0. Fatigue Fract Engng Mater Struct 33.381.75 17. ISLAM Table 2 Simulated sea states Wind Significant Fraction of Sea velocity wave Dominant time in state.14 8.50 5.65 13.00040572 0.186 4. response statistics of hinge shear stresses have been obtained for 12 simulated sea states as shown in Table 3.66 12. ZAHEER AND N.187 0.15 20.22831162 0.00773824 0.0 COV 0.640 0.65 11.81 15.63 4.325 0. a c (mm) Paris exponent.m.29 22.674 0.94 9. i u (m/s) height.43542358 0.581 0.631 R.401 0.153 0.75 16. m Mean/median 1. i 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Fraction of time in each sea state.18 13.27 E +12 MPa 1.00773824 0.15 12.00040572 0.63 0. Tz (s) each sea state.00000037 0. γi 0.09 12. 408–419 .02822122 0.33 1.00000238 0.m. reliability analyses have been carried out using S-N curve and F-M approaches.22831162 0. m Mean/median 1.63 36.00007980 0.22831162 0.00773824 0.381 0. i 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Fraction of time in each sea state.15 0.042 0.69 9.0 0.373 0.63 0.142E -4 0. B Modelling error in Y(a).43 13.65 2.260E -4 0.00000238 0.49 14.29 16.94 19.58 0.711 R.08851105 0. stress σim (MPa) 40.236E -5 β 4.332 0.00000037 0.0 1.69 18.00007980 0.20 Distribution Log normal Log normal Log normal Constant Table 6 Data for fatigue reliability investigation (F-M model) Random variable Paris coefficient. C Stress modelling error.613 0.0 5.86 6.88 9.08851105 0.20 0.337 0.25 8.43542358 0.02822122 0.417 0. A Stress modelling error.8 E -12 MPa 1.416 M. Subsequently.00187129 0.69 2.58 10. B Fatigue exponent. c 2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.26 18.15 3.39 10. a ◦ (mm) Critical crack length.333E -5 β 4. DISCUSSION OF RESULTS Wave alone environment To study the joint reliability under wave alone.71 27.404 0.26 7.20942036 Table 5 Data for fatigue reliability investigation (S-N model) Random variable P-M damage index at failure.00000238 0.19 3. γi Initial crack length.26 6.15 6.504 Table 4 Statistics of hinge shear stresses under long crested random waves + wind Sea state.00007980 0.15 15.75 28.0 3.26 12.392 0.313 0.00187129 0.00001437 0.401 0.12 4.52 35.07 The description of random variables considered in the reliability analysis based on the Miner–Palmgren damage model and F-M model has been given in Tables 5 and 6.005 8.78 1.15 43.20942036 Zero crossing rate fi 0.0 3.s.04 11.65 5. M.43542358 0.36 26.48 2.02822122 0.149 0.00040572 0.46 Table 7 Probability of failure and reliability index using S-N curve approach Reliability method (→) Sea environment (↓) Wave only Wave + wind FORM Pf 0.00001437 0.15 9.186 and 4. The probability of failure and reliability indices of the joint obtained from S-N and F-M model are shown in Tables 7 and 8.s. γi 0. γi 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 24. Hs (m) period.508 0.20942036 Zero crossing rate fi 0.602 0.00187129 0.

381 4. Design point or most probable point A point on the limit state surface that corresponds to the shortest distance from the origin in the reduced coordinate system is defined as the design point or most probable point.577 for S-N model and from 4. sensitivity factor for stress modelling error (Bi ) is positive. 408–419 . γi . Table 10 Sensitivity factors using F-M approach Sensitivity factor (→) Sea environment (↓) Wave only Wave + wind respectively (using advanced FORM simulation). effective wave height exponent reduces prior to wave breaking.113E -4 β 4. Whereas. This reduction is of the order of 8. This is due to the fact that in F-M approach. and fatigue α1 0.3374 −0. it is observed that zero crossing rate increases when wind is included. In such designs partial safety factors for load and resistance variables are determined c 2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.237 Table 9 Sensitivity factors using S-N curve approach Sensitivity factor (→) Sea environment (↓) Wave only Wave + wind α1 −0.3372 α2 −0. In the present study. Furthermore. It is also seen that out of the two resistance variables. reliability of articulated joint will decrease for any increase in magnitude of random variables as all of them are load variables. hence. reliability index has been improved from 4. It is seen that all the random variables appearing in the limit state function are positive which shows that these variables will contribute to the load part only. through thickness crack is normally defined as failure criteria. Therefore. It makes a more realistic model of ocean environment.51296 α4 0. they are resistance variables.6645 −0.RELIABILITY ANALYSIS OF UNIVERSAL JOINT OF A COMPLIANT PLATFORM 417 Table 8 Probability of failure and reliability index using F-M approach Reliability method (→) Sea environment (↓) Wave only Wave + wind FORM Pf 0.694 Monte Carlo Pf 0.5 and 6. On the other hand in F-M approach. Again from Tables 7 and 8.28835 0.381 to 4. Tables 11 and 12 show the values of the design point on failure surface for the two approaches.694 for F-M model using advanced FORM formulation. hence. Sensitivity analysis Sensitivity analysis gives quantitative dependence of reliability on the value of sensitivity factor for random variables.29144 α 1 = Paris coefficient C.6641 α3 0. it will contribute to load part of the limit state function. Table 10 shows results of sensitivity analysis for F-M based model. Response statistics of hinge shear stresses under combined action of wind and waves are given in Table 4. Design point values are essential for reliability based probabilistic design of articulated joint.186 to 4. it is seen that wind causes a reduction of probability of failure. The sensitivity factors for Miner–Palmgren damage index ( F ).57866 α3 0.52784 0. It is therefore essential to accurately model the statistical information of fatigue strength coefficient (A).6% for S-N and F-M approaches using FORM formulation. reliability of the joint is more sensitive to (A) than ( F ). Table 9 shows the sensitivity factor values of random variables in the limit state function based on S-N curve approach. Combined wind and wave environment Analysis under wave alone is not a realistic proposition because wind is the major source of sea wave generation.57252 0.6668 0.55718 0. Due to this attenuation effect. It is mainly due to the attenuating effect of the wind19 which acts on the exposed superstructure of the articulated tower. This is because in S-N approach. critical crack size (a ◦ ) is the resistance parameter which has been assumed as deterministic. strength coefficient (A) are negative. the reliability of the joint is influenced more by variation in the fatigue strength coefficient (A) than P-M damage index at failure F for both the loading environments. Tables 7 and 8 also shows that advanced FORM formulation gave results in close proximity with Monte Carlo method. For a given uncertainty.007 4. This may be due to the fact that by the incorporation of wind loading. On comparing Tables 3 and 4. α 3 = Initial crack length a ◦ and α 4 = Modelling error in Y(a). Fatigue Fract Engng Mater Struct 33.6673 α 1 = P-M damage index at failure F . failure occurs when an initial crack size (original imperfections) reaches to final crack size (unstable length).593E -5 0. It is also seen that out of the two resistance variables. advanced FORM formulation provides equally viable solution for fatigue reliability as Monte Carlo simulation method.133E -5 β 4.56313 α2 0. These results show that the S-N curve approach gives somewhat conservative results as compared to F-M approach. α 2 = Stress modelling error B.306E -4 0. correlated wind and waves are considered (Table 2). α 3 = Stress modelling error B. α 2 = Fatigue strength coefficient A.

corresponding probability of failure also increases. c = F and Bi (log normal).38 4.508 4.618272 z2 0.549 4.27 10.106 × 10−4 β 4.54 1.6686 1. These reliability methods are: (i) FORM.78 b 8. Thus it may be concluded that for fatigue analysis an accurate assumption of random variable distribution is highly significant.171 × 10−6 0.816E +12 z3 1. the reliability is under estimated for case d when all the random variables are normally distributed.34 c 10. z2 = Stress modelling error B.433 × 10−7 0.960 4.67 z1 0. Tables 15 and 16 shows an expected trend.9 E -10 7.57 b 3. (ii) Advanced First Order Reliability Method (AFORM) and (iii) Monte Carlo method.26 3.862 4. 408–419 . Table 13 Effect of probability distribution in random variables on reliability index (S-N model) Reliability method → Sea environment ↓ Wave only Wave + wind FORM A 4. b = Co (normal).56 d 1. γi . target reliability index). FORM is also equally good method of reliability estimation.949E +12 0.093 1. d = All random variables are normally distributed.381 4.27 C 1.269 × 10−5 0. Table 12 Design point or most probable point using F-M approach Random variables (→) Sea environment (↓) Wave only Wave + wind a = All variables have original distribution except a ◦ (exp). z2 = Fatigue strength coefficient A and z3 = Stress modelling error B.29 7. reliability is overestimated if all the variables are considered as normally distributed. Bi and γi (log normal).853 × 10−6 0.491 × 10−6 0. For F-M model. ISLAM Table 11 Design point or most probable point using S-N curve approach Random variables (→) Sea environment (↓) Wave only Wave + wind Table 14 Effect of probability distribution in random variables on reliability index (F-M model) Reliability method → Sea environment ↓ Wave only Wave + wind FORM a 4. d = All variables are normally distributed except a ◦ (exp).418 M.249 × 10−5 β 5.01 d 8. therefore. z3 = Initial crack length a ◦ and z4 = Modelling error in Y(a).133 × 10−5 0. c 2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.326 z1 6. As the design life requirement increases.098 4.7 E -10 z2 1.54 1.0194 0.250 Wind +wave Pf 0.593 × 10−5 0. Effect of design life Design life directly affects the probability of failure of articulated joint. Effect of probability distribution To study the effect of probability distributions of random variables on the reliability of articulated joint. a ◦ = Exponential. Table 17 shows that reliability indices are in close agreement.142 × 10−4 0. four cases have been considered as shown in Tables 13 and 14.642856 0.577 4.694 4.236 × 10−5 0. for achieving the target reliability (i. b = F and Bi (normal). Effect of reliability method Probabilities of failure and reliability indices of three different reliability methods have been compared in Table 17 for wave only and wave plus wind. Same results have been obtained for case c also. ZAHEER AND N.895 4. c = Co (log normal).785 4.114 z1 = Paris coefficient C.07 9.7589 z1 = P-M damage index at failure F .18 4.681 z3 0.56 Table 16 Effect of design life on probability of failure using F-M approach Service life TL (years) 10 15 20 25 Wave only Pf 0.326 × 10−5 0.421 × 10−4 β 4.561 1. Table 15 Effect of design life on probability of failure using S-N curve approach Service life TL (years) 10 15 20 25 Wave only Pf 0. a ◦ = Exponential. M.e. Ai (normal).932 Wind +wave Pf 0.756 × 10−5 β 5. Fatigue Fract Engng Mater Struct 33. Ai (log normal).353 4. The results show that for S-N model.581 × 10−6 0. The reliability index for case b is improved significantly indicating that exact distribution of variable Ai governs the probability of failure.565 a = All random variables are log normally distributed.353 × 10−6 0.Bi and γi (normal).0213 z4 1.186 3.

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